|No More Deaths is a Ministry of UUCT|
and other religious congregations in Tucson
UUCT's ministry in this area is the starkly-named No More Deaths, which is a humanitarian response to the 5,000 deaths that have occurred in the desert near Tucson since 2004. The most emblematic part of this effort are the "arks" that simply leave water and basic supplies along the routes followed by migrants who are avoiding the border defenses. As I mentioned on my own blog when this movement started gaining attention from law enforcement, those placing the water bottles and other aid were charged with littering. Readers interested in my other writings on the subject can peruse migration on Environmental Geography and especially a new post on asylum for drug-war refugees.
In large part because of the leadership of the Tucson church, the UUA held its most recent General Assembly -- called Justice General Assembly -- in Phoenix. This was a bold choice for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that many organizations routinely boycott Arizona as a way of applying pressure on a variety of issues. When we lived there, such efforts were responsible, for example, for bringing a Martin Luther King holiday to the state. When UUA came to Arizona, therefore, it did so overtly as a witness for justice, and included a vigil and visit to the infamous Tent City in Maricopa County. Visit UUA.org to see very informative coverage of the human-rights situation in Arizona, and the response of our denomination to it. Even more encouraging, in my view, is the cooperation with Church of Christ and National Baptist congregants and ministers.
During the discussion, I mentioned the relationship between coffee and migration several times (my work on this includes avian migration, which is also importantly related). I have covered the subject on my coffee web pages, which include a link to a tragic story of migrants who died as a direct result of the poor treatment of workers in the production of commodity coffee. I mentioned that the coffee I brought to the presentation actually helps to sustain people in their communities in Honduras. Agua de Vida coffee from Dean's Beans is organic, so it helps to keep communities healthy; it is genuine fair-trade, so it helps to keep workers employed with dignity; and it is part of a special promotion to support clean water projects in the communities in which it is grown.
For those who were wondering how I prepared it, I ground it fresh the evening before, and brewed it at slightly stronger than usual strength in a drip grinder (see my coffee care page for more details on both of these factors). I then let it cool to room temperature before closing in and putting in the refrigerator overnight. In this way, it was not diluted very much by the addition of ice when serving.